Community members left out of the Hydrogen Energy Conversation — CRCQL Press Statement (3/11/2024)

March 11, 2024 – Philadelphia, PA –  Time and time again our elected officials promise to deliver results, include residents in the process, and plan for a safe future. Once more, today’s “Clean Hydrogen for the Mid-Atlantic” conversation showcases that none of that is guaranteed. 

Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living, a group fighting for environmental justice in the City of Chester, have strong concerns about the hydrogen hub proposals.  “We don’t trust this process or the potential outcome,” said chairperson Zulene Mayfield. “So far community members are left out of the conversation and from what we can see we’ll be getting all of the hazards. We have suffered enough with the pollution already devastating our communities.”

The Clean Hydrogen conversation – with speakers such as Governor Josh Shapiro, Senator Bob Casey, and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon – was scheduled to start at 8am on a Monday morning in Northeast Philadelphia. Stacked with union labor and politicians, there were key groups left out of the conversation. “We had to leave our city at 7am and take off from work to be here,” said Chester resident Margaret Johnson. “How can there be a truly inclusive process when we weren’t invited to be here in the first place?” 

While this discussion is focused on green hydrogen – which is cleaner than hydrogen generated from fossil fuels – an infrastructure project of this magnitude is almost guaranteed to displace residents, increase traffic pollution, and produce byproduct pollution. The potentially-impacted communities have not been told how, when, where or exactly what will happen as a result of this hub. A panel was scheduled to discuss “Community Benefits, Workforce, and Equity” during the Monday discussion. “How can you discuss community benefits without inviting the community and local impacted residents?” said Mayfield. 

“We invite Governor Shaprio, Senator Casey, and Congresswoman Scanlon to come down to Chester and truly have a conversation with community members,” said CRCQL Chairperson Mayfield. 


Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL – pronounced “circle”) is a community led non-profit group that organizes and educates on issues of clean air, community health and environmental justice in Chester City, PA and the neighboring region. CRCQL has been leading the environmental justice movement in Chester since 1992. CRCQL actively campaigns to shut down the Covanta trash incinerator in Chester, fight for stronger emission standards for other polluters and advocate for the heath and well-being of all residents. Learn more at

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